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When Two Hearts Collide
He carried her luggage into the bedroom. "I'll move my stuff out of the dresser," he said quietly.
She nodded. Sat down on the edge of the bed. "Um…can I ask a personal question?"
Daniel glanced over at her. "Considering what we've been doing the past few days, I'd say so."
Again she nodded, then smiled as his meaning became clear. "Do you celebrate Christmas?"
"Well, I was just wondering if you were going to get a Christmas tree. I always enjoyed helping to decorate the tree at Vicky's," she sighed softly.
"To be honest, I hadn't even thought about it. The past few years…" he paused. He hadn't had a tree since he'd returned from Abydos. His heart had been with Sha're, worrying about her, missing her…or mourning her loss. "We can go look for a tree tomorrow. We'll have to buy ornaments as well. I have a few from when I was a kid, but there aren't many."
"It's no big deal," she said hurriedly.
He sat down on the bed beside her. "Casey, do you want a Christmas tree?"
She shrugged. "They're expensive," she whispered after several minutes of silence, telling herself that to ask for things was to take advantage of his generosity. She wasn't accustomed to anyone being concerned with her feelings, worrying about her wants, her desires.
"That wasn't the question," he said softly. He took her chin in his hand. "Do you want a Christmas tree?"
"Just a little one?" she replied.
That little flicker of hope in her eyes made him ache to give her the world on a platter. And to see to it that they had the biggest Christmas tree he could find and get into the apartment. "We'll see what they have."
When she began to put her clothes away, she discovered a dearth of hangers. Daniel promised a trip to the mall to remedy the situation. As she put her things on the counter in the bathroom, she began to worry. She'd never had room to 'spread out' before; her jewelry box, a simple wooden box that had belonged to her Grandma Rose; a blue glass bowl that she'd found at a flea market and fell in love with held an assortment of combs and bands for her hair. Another small ceramic bowl held her manicure essentials. The small basket that she used to hold her cosmetics. She stepped back and frowned. Bumped into Daniel, unaware that he was even in the room. She looked up at him; he was staring at the counter. "I can put it all in the cabinet," she said softly, quickly, moving toward the sink, reaching for the items.
He grabbed her arm, tugged her back against him. "This is your home, Casey. You can do whatever you want here. If you want your things out, then they will be. I like it. Proves I have a woman living here," he said casually. Inside he was like a little boy, jumping up and down and shouting 'goodie, goodie, goodie!'. Thought briefly about the next MENSA party he would give. Let the guys who'd been teasing him about needing a woman around choke on the proof that he had one. The most amazing, beautiful woman he had ever met.
"You're sure?" She glanced at his things…so neat, so precise behind 'his' sink.
She smiled. "I could eat."
"Let's see what's in the fridge. We might have to order out," he warned.
Casey followed him to the kitchen. The first night she had been here, she had been too nervous to notice more than the obvious. Now she took note that except for the coffee maker, the counters were bare. Again that lip went between her teeth.
"I have a couple of TV dinners," he offered.
"Fine," she replied.
He noticed her worrying that lip. "If you want something else…"
"No, really, that's fine," she said, smiling.
"Why don't you make some coffee, and I'll get these into the microwave," he suggested, pulling two of the packaged meals from the freezer.
With a nod, she opened the pantry. Which contained a box of crackers, half a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, the coffee, and a box of cereal. Well, from what she'd gathered, he worked long hours. Probably didn't feel like cooking when he came home. The filters were beside the coffee, and she carefully filled one, put it into the coffee maker, added the water. "Where are the mugs?"
"Left of the sink."
She opened the cupboard. Good grief! Four dinner plates. Four small plates. Four bowls. Four mugs. Four tall glasses. That was it. The extent of his dinnerware. With a glance at him, she began to open the other cupboard and cabinet doors. Found a full set of Circulon cookware, the sort she had dreamed of having. But nothing else.
Daniel watched her, bit back his grin when she cast a look of disbelief in his direction.
"Don't cook much, do you?" she asked.
He grinned. "Not much, no."
She shook her head. "It'll take months to get this kitchen into shape," she muttered.
"Why so long?"
Unaware that he had heard her, she blushed deeply. "It will just take time for me to get the things you need."
"The things we need," he explained calmly.
She smiled. "We."
"Why will it take so long?" he asked again.
"I have no idea exactly how much I'll be making, and I'll need enough for my share of the rent and utilities, and I really need to see about getting a car, so I don't know how much will be left over, and some of the things you…er…we…need are a little expensive, but I want to get the best because they last longer, and then there's the fact that you have absolutely nothing-"
He couldn't help but chuckle as the words poured from her. He put his finger on her lips. "First of all, you do not have to pay rent or utilities. You're my Wife, Casey. It's my job to provide for you. Secondly, whatever you need, we'll get."
She stared at him.
Daniel was certain he had never seen those green eyes so wide. "What?"
"You have no idea what you need!"
"So enlighten me."
"Have any paper and a pencil?"
He grinned. "Yep. Be right back."
While he was gone she took a peek into the refrigerator. It was going to cost a small fortune to make this kitchen workable, and stocked well enough that she could actually prepare meals for him!
She spent nearly an hour writing out her lists, making three columns on two sheets of paper. One list was for groceries; the other for the cookware, bakeware, small appliances and all of the other miscellaneous items needed to prepare those meals. She shook her head several times, mumbling about bachelors and their total lack of understanding of the need for a well supplied kitchen. "I have this broken down into must have, should have, and would like to have," she explained, showing him the first list.
He couldn't stop the flip-flop of his heart when he saw 'waffle iron' on the 'must have' list. He'd told her that waffles were his favorite for breakfast. He listened as she explained the necessity of each item, answering his questions concerning those things he had no clue about.
"I'll have to build up my spice rack slowly," she said. "Spices can be darned expensive. There are the basics, like cinnamon and dry mustard, and nutmeg, and cloves, and then I can work from there. I prefer to use the fresh herbs when I can get them, but I'll need a few things like basil and oregano and sage and cilantro, just in case I need them."
"Okay," he said, reading over the grocery list.
"Now do you understand why it's going to take so long? The small appliances alone are going to run to almost two thousand dollars. Well, less, if I don't get the professional grade," she said, taking a bite of her macaroni and cheese.
Daniel was grinning from ear to ear. He would take those lists, and he would buy every blessed item on each one. Even the stuff he had no clue about. There were two 'kitchen' stores in the mall, he was certain someone there could help him. He was taking care of her now, and by god she was going to have not just what she needed, but what she wanted as well. Knowing her, it would be best for him to just get the stuff, and then argue with her about it after the fact. He thought about the 'bonus' check that he'd received…geez, has it already been three months ago?…for work he'd done that went above and beyond what was expected of him, on top of the two treaties that had resulted from that work. It had been sitting in the savings account. It would most certainly cover everything on the lists he held in his hands.
She studied him. Didn't like the look in those blue eyes. "Don’t you even think about it," she warned.
"Think about what?"
"Getting all of that at once."
"Daniel! That's several thousand dollars!"
She shook her head. "No. I'll get what I can, as I can. If you're going to insist on paying the rent and utilities, it's the least I can do."
He shook his head mentally. She'd never been provided for, not like she should've been, that was obvious. He put the lists on the table. Took her hand, lifted it to his lips. "You're mine," he said softly.
She smiled. "All yours."
"You're my Wife."
"Well, I suppose so, technically, maybe…although that's still debatable," she replied.
"I love you."
"I love you, too," she said softly.
"I'm going to give you the best, Casey. Of everything. Because you're mine, you're my Wife, and I love you," he said, spelling out for her exactly how he felt.
Green eyes locked with cerulean blue ones. Filled with tears. "You don't have to buy me things, Daniel," she whispered. "Your love is all I want, all I need."
That simple statement was like a fist in the gut. In her mind, it was a one or the other proposition. She believed she could have his love, but not things. Or that he would buy her things in place of the love that she needed…wanted…craved. She didn't understand that the one led to the other. That because he loved her…and oh, god he loved her so much!…he wanted to give her everything she needed, everything she wanted. That he wanted to make her happy, to see that beautiful smile on her face. That light in her eyes. "You have my love, Angel. Forever. And if you want the moon on a silver platter, just tell me, and I'll get it for you."
The tears that had filled her eyes spilled over onto her cheeks. Did he have any clue how much that meant to her? Just knowing that he was willing to provide a place for her to live, food for her to eat was almost more than she could understand. She'd been told every day of her life that she was a burden, an expense, an unwanted responsibility. It was nearly impossible to wrap her mind around the idea that he not only wanted to provide the mere necessities of life, but all the things she wanted as well. "I don't want the moon. Just you," she whispered.
He reached out and wiped the tears from her cheeks. "You have me, Angel. Heart, mind, body and soul," he whispered in return.
She looked at the lists, reached for them. "I can go back over that list, move a few things from the 'must have' to the 'should have'," she said softly.
He moved them away from her fingers. "You don't need to worry about these lists," he said calmly. Firmly. "Just know that what you need will be provided." And every want, too! he added to himself. Plus anything else I can think of to make you happy.
Casey wasn't sure how to take that. Obviously what was on the 'must have' list would be purchased within the next few weeks. If he was going to be paying for the things, he certainly had the right to decide what was purchased, and when! She nodded her acknowledgement.
"Feel like taking a shower before we go to bed?" he asked.
She couldn't help but smile at the look of eager anticipation in his eyes. "I think a shower sounds lovely. I suppose the anaconda will be joining us?"
He chuckled. She had the most delightful, wicked, wacky sense of humor…and he loved it! "I suppose so. After all, he hasn't had a chance to…um…greet you…yet today."
She giggled. "You have to 'greet' my boobs every morning. The anaconda has to 'greet' me every day. You're weird."
He laughed harder. "You're the one who makes me that way."
"And just how did you reach that erroneous conclusion?" she asked, her eyes wide.
"It's not my fault that I am as totally in love with those perfect, perky, tantalizing breasts as I am with you, and it's not my fault the anaconda is addicted to your sweet little twat."
She burst into laughter. "I don't even know how to respond to that!" she gasped. "Tell me, do you remember being weaned?"
He grinned. "Nope."
"Daniel, you are a very strange man," she said, wiping her eyes once she was able to stop laughing.
"Yeah, but you love me."
"With all that I am," she replied.
"Let's go take a shower." He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively, sending her into another fit of giggles. He offered his hand, closed his fingers around hers when she took it. Led her to the bathroom. His heart was dancing with happiness. Never again. He would never be alone…or lonely, again.
A A A A A A
The problem of getting to the mall, and the grocery store, without her knowing about it bounced around in his mind as he drove to the base. He needed to find a way to keep her busy. If he could take the afternoon off…He walked into his office, checked his email…grinned. Jack had left a message telling him that the trip to the firing range would have to wait, three of the SG teams had to do qualifications, which would tie the range up for most of the day. According to Jack, the first thing she would do Monday would be to demonstrate to the team just how well she could…or couldn't...handle a weapon.
He knew that she would be doing a 'search' before any and every team left the base. There were three teams scheduled to leave on missions today. Afterwards…perfect! He grinned to himself. Couldn't wait to see her face when she saw everything she wanted sitting in the kitchen waiting for her.
He took her to the 'gate room, then hurried to see if Sam was in her lab. She was. "I need you to keep Case busy this afternoon."
The blonde major looked at him. "Why?"
Daniel pulled two folded sheets of yellow legal pad paper from his pocket. "I have a little shopping to do. If I take her with me, she'll fight me every step of the way," he explained. He was grinning like a madman.
"You're spoiling her," Sam smiled.
"Damned straight. It's time she was treated like the amazing…precious…woman that she is," he replied. "Sam, her life…her childhood was so dark, so…brutal. I don't know most of it, but I know enough that it breaks my heart just thinking about it."
She looked at her friend. The love that he felt for the blonde seer suddenly in their midst was undeniable. So was the happiness that lit his handsome face. She'd wanted this for him, wanted him happy and in love…seeing it happening gave her a serious case of the 'warm fuzzies'. "Okay. I suggest you let her go to the grocery store with you, though, she might have brands that she prefers."
He considered the suggestion, then nodded. "Good idea. I'm going to go get Jack and Teal'c, they can help me carry all of this stuff. Give me…three…no, make it four hours. Can you do it?"
Sam grinned. "Consider it done. Don't forget about tonight's Christmas party."
"I won't," he replied, already halfway out the door.
A A A A A A
Casey stood beside the first team that was getting ready to leave…SG-8. She closed her eyes. Reached out and searched the area near the 'gate. Found nothing of interest. Cocked her head sideways when she found the village. Smiled at the children she saw playing. She opened her eyes. "Do you have any chocolate bars?" she asked softly.
The team CO, Major Don Mansfield, shook his head. "No, why?"
"Children love sweets. It will help you gain the trust of the elders."
General Hammond had explained about this woman and her…gift, during their briefing. The major had heard then about how she had arrived at the SGC, breaking in without setting off one alarm, destroying the Quantum mirror…at the request of her counterpart from another reality. He'd worked in the mountain long enough to know that such a thing was damned possible! He'd also heard about the letters; letters that had the general and every member of SG-1, the first SG team to exist, the most experienced team in the SGC, certain that this woman was going to be an asset. He wasn't so sure he believed all that psychic stuff. But General Hammond did. Colonel O'Neill did. And that was good enough for him. "How many, ma'am?" Major Mansfield asked.
She smiled. "Just a minute." She closed her eyes, counted the children she could see. Opened her eyes. "Better make it an even dozen. Including one for the old man who's sitting beside the tree just outside of the village."
General Hammond nodded toward the man. "Have Sergeant Siler open the candy machine. Get plain chocolate. Don't want to find out any of those children are allergic to nuts the hard way."
One of the men on the team hurried from the room to do as instructed. Sergeant Walter Harriman had continued the countdown for the 'gate, and when it opened with the usual 'whoosh', Casey had jumped, bumping into General Hammond.
"I’m so sorry," she apologized, blushing brightly.
"No need to apologize," the general replied kindly, his hands on her arms until he was certain that she was standing steadily on her feet. "It's quite…impressive…isn't it?"
"That's one word for it," she murmured. "That much…power…is a little scary, too."
"That it is," the military man agreed.
When the team member returned with the candy bars, the general gave the team their go-ahead. She watched as they disappeared through the event horizon.
The second team getting ready to leave on their assigned mission waited patiently. When the 'gate came to life, and Walter called down that it was an unscheduled wormhole, the Marines rushed into the room, the team following General Hammond to the control room. He had taken Casey by the arm and led her there as well.
"Identification?" Hammond asked as soon as he was in the control room.
"None yet, sir," was the reply. The iris that protected the SGC from unwanted visitors spun into place.
She felt slightly dizzy. Closed her eyes. Felt…pulled…toward a distant place. Under fire! They were being attacked…and the…the device they needed…dropped, but they didn’t know it…oh god! "Help them!" she cried out. "It's lost, but they don't know it! They can't get home without it, but they're being attacked, oh, god, please help them! Don't close the door on them! They just want to get home!"
General Hammond glanced at her. "Open the iris," he said quietly.
The iris opened. For several long seconds nothing happened. Then several staff blast shots echoed in the room below them, just before five men stumbled down the ramp.
"Close that iris," the general ordered quickly. "Get a medical team to the 'gate room stat!"
Casey had dropped to the floor, her head in her hands, the slight pain she had felt fading now that the men were safely home.
"Casey?" General Hammond asked softly, crouching beside her.
"I’m fine, sir. Just a bit of a headache for a few minutes," she replied.
The men of SG-7 sat up and looked around, stunned, three of them wounded, but very much alive. Everyone turned to look at the young blonde seer who had just saved their lives.
The team that had been about to leave exchanged nervous glances. They'd been told about her during their briefing as well. None of them had really believed it…until now. No way in hell were they walking through that 'gate until she said it was okay!
A A A A A A
Sam wandered into the 'gate room, watched as the last of the teams embarked for the day. Had already heard what had happened. Rumors moved through the mountain complex faster than the recirculated air. But this one wasn't just a rumor. The Marines and the techs in the control room had seen with their own eyes the fact that the new resident seer had just saved the lives of SG-7. Those men were begging to meet her, to thank her for saving them. She wasn't surprised when Janet appeared at her elbow.
"General Hammond, is Casey finished for the day?" the tiny CMO asked, a bright smile on her face.
"I believe so," the man replied with a smile.
"Good. I have some gentlemen who are very anxious to say thanks."
The Texan turned to the slender young woman at his side. "Casey, you saved the lives of five men today. I have no idea how many other lives your…gift…has saved, and you've only been here a few days. I want you to know that I am thrilled to have you working here, protecting the people I have to send out there. And I want to thank you for saving that team," he said kindly.
She blushed, lowered her eyes. "Just doing my job, sir," she murmured.
That was the typical attitude of the people working in the SGC. Not one of them viewed what they did as anything more than their job. And the people involved in the Stargate program were the best of the best, and did that job damned well. "Thank goodness for us," General Hammond replied. "Doctor Fraiser, why don't you escort Casey to the infirmary so those men can thank her for saving their lives."
"That's not necessary," she protested.
"Yes, Casey, it is," General Hammond said. "We don't take it lightly when someone saves a life around here."
Janet looped her arm with that of the slender blonde. "Come on. You can tell me all about that rock on your finger on the way," she teased.
"I was going to invite you to lunch," Sam said, falling into step beside them.
"Ooo, lunch! Sounds good," Janet said. "O'Malley's?"
Sam grinned. "Where else? And then we can get all of the juicy details."
Casey couldn't help but smile. She already had friends here. How amazing was that? "I should talk to Daniel," she said.
Sam glanced at Janet. Caught her eye. "I'll give him a call for you, while the guys from SG-7 fall all over themselves to impress you with how thankful they are."
She couldn't help but giggle. And Daniel surely wouldn't mind if Sam passed on the message that she was going to lunch with her new friends. He'd told her on the drive to the base he was going to be very busy today, and might not actually get to see her at all. He'd even mentioned that Sam might drive her home if he got involved in…whatever it was that he was doing. He hadn't actually given her details. Something poked at the back of her mind, but she ignored it. There was no threat, no fear involved. So she pushed the annoying feeling back.
A A A A A A
The men of SG-7 were lying on the infirmary beds, wearing blue pajamas, and all looking a bit worse for the wear. Three of the men were bandaged, the result of staff wounds. "Gentlemen, this is Casey Webster. Doctor Jackson's fiancée. And the one responsible for getting you through that 'gate without a GDO," Janet said quietly.
All of them were at immediate attention. The team CO, Major Randy Webber, stood to his feet, cradling the arm that had been badly burned by a staff blast. "Ma'am, it's an honor to meet you. I'd like to thank you for getting our butts out of that sling."
Casey blushed, smiled, lowered her eyes. "You're welcome," she said softly. "I was only doing what I came here to do."
"Well, ma'am, " Major Webber said, "we darn sure appreciate it."
"Just be sure your…that little device thingy…" she turned to Janet.
"Garage Door Opener."
She stared at the woman for a minute. "You have got to be kidding. Don't tell me. Daniel named it."
The men around her began to chuckle. "As a matter of fact, I think he did," Janet giggled.
"That man is so weird," she said under her breath.
Janet giggled harder. "I believe you were giving the major and his men a warning?"
How utterly strange was it to call the device that opened the iris on the Stargate a 'garage door opener'? Of course, it really did look like the remote control devices used to open garage doors. Casey shook herself mentally. "Be sure to keep one in a pocket, zipped up," she said softly.
"Yes, ma'am," the major replied.
"Back into bed, major. You too," Janet said to the other men of the team.
"Miss Webster, ma'am," one of the men said, sitting up in the bed. "Is it true that you came here to break up the Quantum mirror?"
"Afraid so," she said, flashing a smile that melted five hearts into putty.
"Something about a Horde. Or The Horde. Nasty group that wanted to come through and take over here," she replied.
"Damn!" the young man hissed.
"My thoughts exactly," she agreed.
Janet smiled. Casey was going to be as popular around here as candy in a schoolyard. "Ready to go get some lunch?"
Casey smiled. "I am a bit hungry," she admitted.
Sam walked back into the infirmary, having made the excuse that she was going to call Daniel. Which she'd actually done. On his cell phone. He was still at the mall, discussing blenders with Colonel O'Neill. She'd almost suggested waiting until after they were married to buy anything, knowing that their friends, herself included, would buy gifts for the couple. But Daniel had explained that Casey had been upset to find his kitchen so bare. And she knew that when it came to the woman he loved, her happiness was all that mattered to him. "Daniel is up to his ears right now," she said, smiling inwardly. She just wouldn't mention what he was up to his ears doing!
"Did he even hear anything you said?" Janet asked.
"I made him repeat it back to me," Sam grinned.
Casey looked quizzically at the tall blonde major.
"If Daniel is really lost in his work, you have to make him repeat back to you anything you say that's important. He still doesn't actually hear it, but it sinks in eventually that way," Sam explained.
She smiled. She was certain that if he became that…absorbed…at home, she could find a way to get through to him!
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